Thorns & Thistles are Worthless and in Danger of Being Cursed (Hebrews 6:7-8)
"Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned" (Hebrews 6:7-8)
I am from Iowa, and in Iowa farming is very important to the economy. Every summer the entire state is covered by thousands of square miles of corn and soy beans. Each spring farmers plant their crops to harvest in the fall. Around July and August there is always talk about the amount of rain needed for the crops to flourish and grow. While it is always a safe topic of conversation, the truth is God is the one who sends rain upon the earth to water it.
David spoke eloquently in Psalm 65, “You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it. You drench its furrows and level its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its crops. You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance. The grasslands of the desert overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness. The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing” (Psalm 65:9-13).
The produce that is harvested is a blessing from the Lord. Amazingly, God also blesses those who are not of his kingdom. Jesus said in Matthew, “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45b). God is not partial and chooses to bless everyone whether they recognize it or not. The difference is how we respond to this blessing in our lives. If the farmers’ fields repeatedly grew weeds instead of corn, eventually they might sell that land or let it return to prairie choosing to farm only in productive areas. The same is true of God. If a person repeatedly rejects Him and His blessing producing thorns and thistles instead of what God desires and His blessings allow, then in the end they are in danger of their decisions in this life.
When Jesus explained the parable of the weeds to his disciples (Matthew 13:24-30; Matthew 13:36-43) he told them that the wheat and the tares were allowed to grow together until the harvest. At this time the weeds would first be gathered and burned. But all through the growing season the tares were allowed to grow with the wheat. They took the same nourishment from the soil, they enjoyed the same sunshine and benefited from the same rain drops that fell on the crops. However, the ending for the weeds was drastically different than it was for the wheat.
The writer of Hebrews is making this analogy directly after instructions about moving onto maturity in Christ. Weeds sprout because of neglect and sometimes it takes work to cultivate a good crop. However, Jesus gave us the key to a good harvest in John 15, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). So it makes sense that believers will produce a kingdom crop by functioning as they were created while enjoying the many blessings from God. The fruit is always determined by the seed that is planted and cultivated, which is why it is so important to remain in the vine and recognize the many blessings of God.